Director: Niki Caro
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Runtime: 115 Minutes
Main Cast: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Cheng Pei-Pei
Plot: A live-action remake of the orginal Disney animated movie Mulan (1998), about a young Chinese girl who disguises herself as a male warrior in order to protect her father.
My Thoughts: As a Disney fan, no matter the controversy, I had to see the Mulan remake as soon as I could. I’m still gutted I watched it in my living room instead of on the big screen but hey, I’m just so grateful for new releases at the moment. I’ve enjoyed all of the remakes so far with the exception of Dumbo (2019) but I wasn’t sure where to set my expectations for Mulan. I’ve only seen the original once, and it wasn’t as a child. And although I loved it, I don’t have the same connection with it as I do with most other Disney movies.
Thankfully I had my Disney-superfan husband at hand to give his critiques. I’m not kidding, I’ve never been happier than when in Disneyland but for him? It’s like his home! I keep telling him he should have been a Disney character at the parks, he’s so theatrical. Anyway, I digress. There are a lot of positives here, it feels well acted, the story doesn’t stray too far from the original, and the cinematography is stunning. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. When I learned Mushu the little red dragon was omitted from the remake I was salty but honestly? I don’t see how he would have fit in here, so I’m not mad anymore.
What I did miss was the songs. This is just…unacceptable, and there’s no excuse that I will accept. Yes, the movie feels more serious now but it still has little pockets of humour. The instrumental version of Reflection is heard throughout but it only really makes sense if you know the original. I just don’t see a valid reason for taking the songs out, and the movie suffers as a result. Is it worth paying the $30, or £20 to get early access? I guess that depends on how many people are in your household, but if I were you, I’d wait.
Best Bit: I wish I could tell you about a jaw-dropping moment here but during the avalanche scene, one of Mulan’s buddies gets crushed by what I think was a trebuchet and it was unintentionally HILARIOUS. He was fine, don’t worry.
Worst Bit: We can all agree the best Mulan song is I’ll Make a Man Out Of You, right? So it hurts so much to have the training sequence without it. We could have at least been given some references to it, I think the Commander spoke a few lines, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough. I’m fairly sure everyone watching just sang it themselves though.
Fun Trivia: Yifei Liu performs 90% of all her stunts as Mulan: horse riding, sword fighting, martial arts, and battle scenes.
My Rating: 3 and a half beautiful teapots that should stay in the middle of table, unless you’re trying to protect your sister from a spider.